ERIC Number: ED192551
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: N/A
Social Factors in Language Retention. Research Bulletin No. 514.
Gardner, R. C.
Social, aptitudinal, and attitudinal factors that influence acquisition of a second language can also have an effect on the subsequent retention of that language. "Retention" is the maintenance or improvement of proficiency in a language following its acquisition. A study by G. Edwards shows that long-term retention of linguistic and communicative competence in a second language for bilinguals is a function of: (1) successful prior or initial learning, (2) opportunity to use the information initially acquired, and (3) interest in using this information. Past research has concentrated on social factors of language acquisition rather than language retention. However, since retention depends on language competence, those factors that affect competence will also affect retention. These social factors include: (1) positive orientation toward the language group; (2) attitudes toward the learning situation; and (3) learner motivation. Of these three, motivation is the main factor linking attitudes to achievement. Additional factors are the individual's willingness to participate in activities to promote retention of the language, the perception of the prestige of the native language, and the individual's self-image when using the native language. (PJM)
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of the Secretary of State, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: University of Western Ontario, London. Dept. of Psychology.